Sunday, December 10, 2017

The First Miracle by Jeffrey Archer (1980)

Tomorrow it would be A.D. 1, but nobody had told him. If anyone had, he wouldn’t have understood, because he thought it was the forty-third year of the reign of the emperor. And in any case, he had more important things on his mind.

His mother was still angry with him, and he had to admit that he’d been naughty that day, even by the standards of a normal thirteen-year-old. He hadn’t meant to drop the pitcher when she had sent him to the well for water. He had tried to explain to her that it wasn’t his fault he had tripped over a stone—that bit at least was true. What he hadn’t told her was that he had been chasing a stray dog at the time. And then there was that pomegranate: How was he to know that it was the last one, and that his father had taken a liking to them?

The young Roman was now dreading his father’s return and the possibility that he might be given another leathering. He could still recall the last one: He hadn’t been able to sit down for two days without being reminded of the pain, and the thin red scars hadn’t completely disappeared for three weeks.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Resettle The Rohingya & Seal Burma-Bangladesh Border


ARSA is latest phase of Bengali-Mujahid Insurgency since 1948.
Resettle the Rohingya refugees where they can have a real future: International humanitarian and rights groups and the Muslim diaspora have been in high dither over Burma’s crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.

The counterinsurgency operation, which was precipitated by Rohingya insurgent attacks in August, has so far sent 626,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh. International players in the drama are acting perfectly in character.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which conducted the attacks, called itself a garden-variety ethnic insurgent group out to protect the Rohingya people against state repression. Burma declared ARSA a terrorist group, and initiated what it calls a legitimate counterinsurgency campaign against extremist Bengali terrorists. Rakhine Buddhist nationalists actively supported the army, and took their own vigilante action.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

California: Physical Collapse Of A Failed Social State


Welcome to California.  It is a state of a perfect set of laws – at least in the minds of those wedded to the legislative pursuit of social justice.  Under the one-party Democrat rules, spending on fairness tops $100 billion every year. Meanwhile, the basic infrastructure of the state, so necessary for the economy long and short term, is collapsing.

The California legislature has been busy making the news these days.  They are determined to fight President Trump tooth and nail – and they are putting the taxpayers’ money where the legislature’s mouth is.

California Democrat after Democrat has decried President Trump. The day after the election, a “Joint Statement from California Legislative Leaders on Result of Presidential Election,” issued in part by California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (formerly Kevin Leon), stated:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Trump Declares Jerusalem Is Israel’s Capital


Angry Palestinians burning US flag in Gaza Strip.
Furious Palestinians burn American flags and promise more 'days of rage' after Trump says Jerusalem IS Israel's capital and claims his move will HELP bring peace to the Middle East - despite worldwide condemnation.

President Trump announced he's recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, and starting the process of moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. 'Today we finally acknowledge the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality,' he said.

Palestinians said it would be 'a kiss of death to the two-state solution' and Trump is 'declaring war in the Middle East'. The terror group Hamas said Trump has opened 'the gates of hell'.  Pope Francis said he was 'profoundly concerned' and appealed that 'everyone respects the status quo of the city'.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Svetlana Alexievich: Portrait Of Author As Historian


‘Communism had an insane plan’, Svetlana Alexievich has claimed: to remake not just society, but humanity itself. ‘And it really worked’. After many years in the ‘Marxist-Leninist laboratory’, a new type of man had emerged: homo sovieticus.

Although he might speak any one of a dozen languages, he was easy to pick out. Tragedy was etched in his face. Born in ‘the land of the Gulag and the harrowing war’, he had suckled on the horrors of ‘dekulakisation, and …deportations’. Hemmed in by conflict, he had developed his own ‘conceptions of good and evil’, his own ‘heroes and martyrs’. His speech was peppered with ‘jarring terms’ such as ‘liquidate’ and ‘eliminate’. And his heart was full of ‘hatred and superstition’.

But the real tragedy of homo sovieticus was that he was blind to his condition. Under Stalin and Khrushchev, the party had ensured that the present was obscured by fantasy. A steady stream of propaganda hammered home the message that factories always exceeded their quotas, farms produced bumper harvests and shops were filled with goods.

Erdogan’s Islamic Turkey Rejects “Moderate Islam”


At a conference on women's entrepreneurship, held in Ankara on November 9 and hosted by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rejected the concept of "moderate Islam".

Referring to the vow by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman -- during the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh on Oct. 25 -- to turn his country into a bastion of "moderate Islam," Erdoğan said, "Islam cannot be either 'moderate' or 'not moderate.' Islam can only be one thing." He also claimed that the "patent of this concept originated in the West," which "really want[s] to weaken Islam."

Erdoğan has consistently communicated his thoughts about the term "moderate Islam" often used in the West to describe his Justice and Development Party (AKP). As early as 2007, he said: "These epithets of 'moderate Islam' are very ugly, it is disrespectful and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that's it."

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Pro-Muslim Pope Francis Visiting Burma & Bangladesh


The pro-Islamic, subdued Pope in modern history.
Pope's High-Risk Visit to South Asia: Opposition in Catholic Hierarchy: The Pope's trip to Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh is occurring against a backdrop of political turmoil and criticism by some Vatican watchers. The visit may also present personal danger for the Holy Father.

Although no one, of course, condones violence and mass expulsion, there has been been indignation, expressed by the spokesperson for Myanmar's Bishop Conference, as to the Pope's concern for the human rights of Muslims while failing to comment on the regime's persecution of Christian minorities in Myanmar. Although the Pope's schedule is filled with pastoral events with the Catholic faithful, the international media appears to be focusing on Myanmar's volatile religious and ethnic issues.

Pope Francis's visit has been opposed by some in the country's Buddhist majority, in light of the Pontiff's August 27 comments in St. Peter's Square: "Sad news has reached us of the persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters, a religious minority. I would like to express my full closeness to them – and let all of us ask the Lord to save them, and to raise up men and women of good will to help them, who shall give them their full rights."

Muslim Child-Rapists Frequently Acquitted In Finland


Ruling in child sexual abuse case goes against public sense of justice: The Turku Court of Appeal has generated intense debate on social media by acquitting a 23-year-old man of the charge of aggravated rape, despite his having had intercourse with a ten-year-old girl.

The Turku Court of Appeal has generated intense debate on social media by acquitting a 23-year-old man of the charge of aggravated rape, despite his having had intercourse with a ten-year-old girl. Finns have widely expressed their outrage and bafflement with a recent ruling in a case against a 23-year-old man who had intercourse with a ten-year-old girl.

The Turku Court of Appeal ruled last week that the defendant was guilty of aggravated child sexual abuse but not of aggravated rape and sentenced him to three years in prison, thus upholding a ruling issued in March by the District Court of Pirkanmaa.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Progressive Capitalism And Population Movement


Paul Kersey recently had a post on why Dayton was looking for Hispanics to move in. Foseti reviews a book on the economics of immigration. People seem to be moving about a lot in the modern world, but why?

As I have said before, capitalism demands cheap labor. Mass movement of populations has been a feature of progressive capitalism since its invention at the advent of global trade. The New World tropics provided an excellent environment for growing sugar cane, making cheap sugar- a highly desirable product- available to be sold in Europe.

But growing sugar cane was a highly labor intensive process, so huge number of Africans were forcibly moved to South America and the Caribbean. (Without knowing the actual numbers, I suspect the economic significance of slavery to sugar far outweighs its significance to cotton.) Cotton of course was another highly desired industrial commodity, becoming more significant with the advent of the cotton gin and then the steam loom.

Northern European overpopulation provided a push as well as a pull factor, and steam power for riverboats and then railroads made trade, and thus the profitable population, of the North American interior on a large scale possible. Steam power also made mining and manufacturing on a large scale possible. In Europe this occurred with farm to city movement, but some of the obsolete farmers moved to North America.